Love Wellness

I couldn’t take a moment to stop working – until something terrible happened to my best friend

“And I’m here to tell you today, if you’re going to be successful you gotta be willing to give up sleep. You gotta be willing to work with 3 hours of sleep, 2 hours of sleep. If you really wanna be successful, someday you’re gonna have to stay up 3 days in a row. Because if you go to sleep you might miss the opportunity to be successful.” – Eric Thomas

My whole life has revolved around one thing – success. My only goal in life was to be successful and I’d do anything to achieve it, no matter what cost. Time, money, sleep, and people I loved too – I’d sacrifice anything at all costs. For success, I’d be willing to lose it. If I slept too much, I’d miss the opportunity to be successful. I only had one life, and there’d be no do-overs if I missed anything. I thought there was no time to waste in life.

Opportunities come only once, so I had to grab them when I got the chance, no matter what I had to sacrifice.

I was a highly-motivated woman.

Hard work always pays off. That was my life motto and I’d hold to it for as long as I lived.

So, I worked really hard to achieve my goals. To be honest, I was a total workaholic.

I woke up at 4 am to start my day.

My morning started with a long list of things to be achieved for one day. The moment I opened my eyes every morning, my mind already reminded me of the visions I had about my future. It made my motivation hit to the extreme level and nothing could stop me from working hard to accomplish all my dreams.

There was no specific time for bed, just when my work for the day was done.

24 hours in one day was too limited for me, so I hustled all the time to make sure everything got done. If there was even one minute of free time, I’d use it for work.

That was how I used my time wisely.

I was listening to Eric Thomas, one of my favorite motivational speakers, when I got a text from my best friend asking me to visit her. It was rather peculiar, but there was no reason to decline. After all, she was my closest friend and we shared the same level of enthusiasm when it came to success.

She was a workaholic just like me.

Spending an hour or two with her couldn’t hurt. So I grudgingly set aside the day’s work and went to visit her on that very day.

When I reached her house, I was expecting to find her buried in paperwork and books…

… but instead, I found her in bed.

Her face was as white as a sheet.  She was way skinnier than the last time I’d seen her. No cheekbones should be sticking out as far as hers were. It looked as if there was no life in her, except that she was still breathing.

I was even more shocked when she smiled and started to talk.

Half of her face was paralyzed. The right side of her lips didn’t lift upward when she smiled and her eye didn’t blink. She could barely utter one word. Nothing was functioning on her right side of her face.

It looked as if it was disfigured.

I was utterly shocked.

She told me that stress brought her to this state. She’d been going days without sleeping, just for the sake of achieving her life goals. She’d been working so much that her health deteriorated.

She was a workaholic like me, but the pressure had gotten to her. According to the doctor, it weakened her nervous system so badly that it couldn’t function properly.

Thankfully, it wasn’t permanent and would go away within weeks.

I couldn’t be more grateful hearing that.

From her bed, she begged me to stop overworking.

She had been doing it for months, and now she was paying the price for neglecting her health. That’s why she’d asked me to visit; she wanted me to stop before I faced the same consequences.

Having dreams and goals in life is never wrong. Everyone has a purpose, and achieving goals is the way to fulfilling that purpose. But my best friend’s illness taught me that achieving my goals should never come at the cost of my physical and mental health.

If I was sacrificing my physical and mental health for my success, then it was time to take a step back. It became clear to me that there was no point in neglecting my well-being and happiness by being a workaholic, especially since happiness was actually the main purpose of my life goals.

I’m so grateful I was able to really hear her advice that day.

Today, I know that my health is far more important than my success.

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By Thee Shaheera

Thee Shaheera is currently a senior in college, majoring in Business Management. Her interests includes arts, fashion design, languages, foods, photography and anything unrelated to business but her greatest passion is writing. She likes to think of herself as a modern-day Renaissance woman, or at least determined to be one in the future.